Highlights, trends, and consensus from the 63 papers submitted to the Scientific Developments theme of the Third International Symposium on Flood Defence (ISFD) are presented. Realizing that absolute protection against flooding can never be guaranteed, trends in flood management have shifted: (1) from flood protection to flood-risk management, (2) from reinforcing structural protection to lowering flood levels, and (3) to sustainable management through integrated problem solving. Improved understanding of watershed responses, climate changes, applications of GIS and remote-sensing technologies, and advanced analytical tools appeared to be the driving forces for renewing flood-risk management strategies. Technical competence in integrating analytical tools to form the basin wide management systems are demonstrated by several large, transnation models. However, analyses from social-economic-environmental points of view are found lag in general. ?? 2006 Taylor & Francis Group.